Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Appalling attacks on Hroza and Kharkiv: UK statement to the OSCE [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 6 October 2023.

Ambassador Neil Holland says Russia’s latest attacks against Ukraine demonstrate the depths of depravity Russian forces are willing to sink to.

Thank you, Mr Chair. When we met yesterday many of us spoke of Russia’s appalling attacks on civilians in Ukraine. We spoke of our concerns for the approaching winter and our determination to support Ukraine to succeed and prevail in the face of Russia’s aggression. It turned out that, even as we gathered in this room, Russia was instigating further unspeakable attacks in which civilians would bear the brunt of this horror.

The village of Hroza has been added to the growing list of places which many of us have come to know for all the wrong reasons. Yesterday afternoon, in this small community, a café and grocery store were destroyed, killing at least 51 people including a child.

We understand that there is no family from Hroza left untouched by this horrific attack. As my Prime Minister said this attack has “demonstrated the depths of depravity Russian forces are willing to sink to.” Those responsible for such an abhorrent attack will face justice. To this end, we welcome the deployment of a field team by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the attack.

In the early hours of this morning, the city of Kharkiv was dealt another brutal attack, this time on the city itself. It is reported that a 10-year-old boy was killed when a residential building was hit and more than 20 people were injured.

The UK is appalled by the barbaric killing of civilians including children. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and loved ones at this harrowing time.

The UK and our international partners have met too many times in this room, to condemn Russia’s latest atrocities. We cannot allow such actions to become acceptable or normal. Each time we meet reinforces our strong commitment that those responsible will be held accountable. The UK remains unwavering in its support for the people of Ukraine, as they resist Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion. We are fully committed to working with our partners to support Ukraine to achieve a long lasting and sustainable peace in line with the UN Charter.